Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Black Swifts- Malkolm

After identifying some Common Mergansers in a roadside creek, Ken and I mounted our bikes and cycled ahead, to where Wendy was waiting. A group of large, cigar-shaped birds with long pointed wings and fast, jerky flight fluttered above Wendy. It took a moment for me to realize that I was looking at my #1 target species for the Southern B.C. area. “Black Swifts!” I yelled.

We dropped our bikes and stared at them as they wheeled about. Conveniently, a few Vaux’s Swifts were mingled amongst the Black Swifts, giving us an excellent size comparison: the tiny Vaux’s is swallow-sized as opposed to the Black Swift which is almost as big as a nighthawk!

Our bible, The Sibley Guide to Birds said Black Swifts are ”uncommon and very local”, so I had imagined a tough hike to a remote waterfall to a spot where they might nest. I had phoned local birders and Ken had called our friend Rachel Shephard whose home near Squamish we were headed for in a couple of days. I was prepared to do even more research, in the hopes of getting suggestions. The last thing that I’d have expected was to find a bunch right by the highway!

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